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Coronavirus: Vaccination

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL14925, tabled on 14 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking (1) to address the efficacy of the 12 week gap between doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for blood cancer patients, and (2) to protect such patients who have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine from exposure to COVID-19.

Answered on

23 April 2021

To optimise the period between doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for all cancer patients, the timing of second dose administration can be varied on clinical advice according to the patient’s individual situation. For immunosuppressed cancer patients, the second dose can be given at different timescales to the 12 weeks routinely in place for most people.

Cancer patients undergoing immunosuppressive therapies, where clinically appropriate, should receive their vaccine doses at least two weeks prior to commencing therapy when their immune system is better able to respond. To maximise vaccine efficacy this may entail offering the second dose between the recommended minimum for that vaccine - three or four weeks after first dose - and the recommended maximum of 12 weeks. Although shielding has been paused, current guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people including immunosuppressed cancer patients advises them to follow the rules and guidance that are in place for the wider population.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care